Starting in 2018, Tustin Unified School District board members will be elected by precinct rather than at large. The district will be divided into five segments, each represented by a trustee who lives in that area.
The district has created four “by-trustee” map options that can be viewed at tustin.k12.ca.us. The maps also will be posted at all school sites.
A meeting was held on Tuesday, June 20, seeking public feedback. Two more meetings will be held in the boardroom, 300 South C St., at 3:30 p.m. Monday, June 26, and at 6 p.m. Monday, July 10.
District representatives will be available at the meetings to answer questions about the four maps, each of which indicates which schools fall under each trustee area. The precincts are not based on enrollment boundaries, so more than one precinct can represent the same school.
The board will vote on a map July 10 after the final workshop.
Historically, all five members of the school board have been chosen district-wide for four-year terms in staggered elections, with all voters selecting from a panel of candidates to fill anywhere from two to three available seats.
But last month, trustees voted to elect board members by area. In April, Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman wrote Tustin Unified a letter demanding it switch to by-area elections or face litigation alleging it failed to comply with the California Voters Rights Act of 2001.
Civil rights activists claim that at-large elections dilute votes of minorities — tilting representation to the majority.
“TUSD appears to have never elected a Latino board member,” Shenkman said in the letter, adding that Latinos comprise almost one-third of the district’s population.
Currently, three TUSD board members live in unincorporated North Tustin. One trustee lives in Tustin Ranch and one in central Tustin.